Nickelodeon's preschooler favorite, "The Backyardigans," will expand beyond the small screen with a third CD that drops Jan. 22 and a 50-city live theatrical tour starting March 28.

On Jan. 14, Nickelodeon will premiere an hour-long primetime musical TV movie, "Tale of the Mighty Knights," that will form the basis of the CD and the tour. Adam Pascal, a Tony-nominee for his work in "Rent" and who originated the role of Radames in "Aida" on Broadway, will serve as the narrator of the movie, as well as performing a song entitled "Not An Egg."

The CD, entitled "Born to Play", will be released by Nickelodeon/Sony BMG and is the third CD from the series. Among its 22 tracks are six from "Tale of the Mighty Knights." Beyond those songs, featured artists on the CD include Alicia Keys, who performs on the track "Almost Everything is Boinga" and Cyndi Lauper on "Lady in Pink."

For retail, the CD will be packaged with a game; online, it will be available on iTunes with four bonus tracks and digital content.

The touring show, "Backyardigans Live! Tale of the Mighty Knights," will start in York, Penn., with dates in New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Camden, New Jersey, Atlanta, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; San Antonio, Texas and Houston. The show is produced in partnership with Live Nation.

For the uninitiated, "The Backyardigans" is a show that incorporates four songs in each episode, and its animated characters perform dance steps that are choreographed by Beth Bogus, the former director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Schools' children's program. The conceit of the show is that five critters - Uniqua, Pablo, Tyrone, Tasha and Austin - use their imagination to transform their backyard into various music-themed fantasylands.

Described by Nickelodeon as a rock opera, in "Tale of the Mighty Knights" The Backyardigans are named caretakers of a magic egg, which grows legs and leads the gang on a chase through Goblin Land, Fairyland and Dragon Mountain.

More than 18.5 million viewers each month watch the show, according to Nickelodeon, including 4.7 million kids between the ages of 2 - 5 and 5.7 million adults between the ages of 18-49.

"'The Backyardigans'" has quickly rocked its way to become the number two television show for preschoolers, so we're giving fans a triple dose of backyard-music filled adventures," says Brown Johnson, executive VP and executive creative director of Nickelodeon Preschool Television.